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A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell
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A Haven on Orchard Lane

by Lawana Blackwell

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I received this book for free through LibraryThing’s Member Giveaways.

I typically don’t read Christian fiction but I still enjoyed this book. It was a fairly simple story but the setting made up for it. I’m a sucker for cute little English villages. ( )
  jessicadelellis | Aug 21, 2017 |
This book was a wonderful read and the first I've read by this author. I enjoyed all the characters, especially the two boys, and Jude's dog, Jinny. ( )
  eliorajoy | Dec 4, 2016 |
This is my first book by Lawana Blackwell and she's been added to my list of favorite authors. I was beaming with pleasure while reading A Haven on Orchard Lane. What a delightful historic tale it was, filled with characters of substance that I could envision so clearly; and beautiful, refreshing dialogue that made this book the epitome of comfort and warmth. To be honest, I had taken a break from historic novels because I was growing weary of the same plot lines and scenarios. This book has caused me to regain faith in the genre. The story was unique and unlike any other book I've read in this category, with writing that spoke to my heart and nourished my soul. I was always ready to pick up where I'd left off. Now a little of what it was about....
Mrs. Charlotte Fosberry was a highly respected actress in her former days. Now at 50, she's no longer on stage, but married to Lord Fosberry who did not marry her for love. Presuming she possessed more wealth than was the case, he confessed his true motives for marrying her and has grown critical and mentally abusive to Charlotte; making off-color comments about her weight and such. She desperately needs a way out and it comes by way of a theater part that she is called upon to play. Knowing that Lord Fosberry won't allow her to just walk away from their marriage, Charlotte must devise a scheme to make her exit. Things don't turn out the way she expects regarding her big break on stage, and she finds herself at the mercy of her estranged daughter, Rosalind, who Charlotte did not raise. Forgiveness is the order of the day, and Rosalind will learn almost immediately that her mother isn't the person she's made her out to be. In fact, Charlotte has much to contribute to many secondary characters by way of wisdom, and even theatrical experience. There's a little mystery and intrigue in the story, a love triangle and ultimately the most wonderfully fulfilling ending.
Ms. Blackwell does Christian Fiction right. There are a few brief scriptural references to bible passages and characters, and a mention here and there of the folks making their way to worship services. But happily it wasn't a lesson in Christianity or didactic in any way (I attend my own worship services for that). Oftentimes when reading a Christian Fiction novel I find that the author's views don't align with my personal beliefs and ultimately upset my delicate sensibilities related to religion. Because of this I find it difficult to review these preachy books objectively. This was not so with A Haven on Orchard Lane. What little I didn't agree with wasn't enough to affect my enjoyment of the book. It was mainly just solid story-telling without profanity, violence or graphic sexual scenes. What I personally expect from a Christian Fiction novel. I loved it!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Thank you Bethany House for a free copy of this book. I have not received any payment for my honest opinions about it. ( )
  Lauigl | Oct 24, 2016 |
A Haven on Orchard Lane is the latest novel by Lawana Blackwell. Charlotte Ward was an actress until she married Roger Fosberry, Viscount of Spilsby. Charlotte is desperate to escape his clutches. Roger is not a kind man and his housekeeper is more like a jailer. Charlotte receives an invitation to come back to the Lyceum Theater from Mr. Henry Irving (it took some work to get the letter to her). With a little help, Charlotte escapes one night and heads to London. Charlotte steps out onto the stage and collapses. Charlotte needs rest and a safe place to hide from the press. Rosalind is Charlotte’s daughter from her second marriage (Roger was her third husband). Rosalind was raised by Aunt Vesta and is now a teacher in Cheltenham. Rosalind reluctantly heads to London. Rosalind collects Charlotte and takes her to Port Stilwell to recover. They rent a house (well, they thought they were getting a whole house) and Rosalind gets Charlotte settled. Rosalind is hoping she will be able to return to her teaching post soon. These two have a complicated relationship, but maybe this is there chance for them to get to know each other and mend fences (everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance). Rosalind soon finds a friend (and maybe more) in Jude Pearce, the local bookseller. Rosalind and Charlotte find friends in this quaint town and have a chance to help others (like Danny and Albert Fletcher). But then someone tries to destroy the life they have built. If you want to know more, you will have to read A Haven on Orchard Lane!

I fell in love with Lawana Blackwell’s novels many, many years ago. I was tickled to see a new book by Ms. Blackwell. A Haven on Orchard Lane is a lovely, historical novel with a Christian theme (forgiveness, helping others, trusting in God, second chances). The writing is very good, but the pace is a little slow (I also felt the novel was also a wee bit too long). I liked the characters (they are complex and well developed as well as realistic) and the writer did a great job with describing the locations (London, Fosberry Hall, Port Stilwell, and the bookshop) as well as the historical content. I give A Haven on Orchard Lane 4 out of 5 stars. I thought the book was a little flat, but overall a nice book to read on a relaxing afternoon. A Haven on Orchard Lane is a nice escape book. A book without violence, foul language, and intimate relations. I will definitely read future books by Lawana Blackwell (I have actually read all her published books).

I received a complimentary copy of A Haven on Orchard Lane in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jun 22, 2016 |
I picked up this book not really knowing what to expect, and was soon engulfed into the lives of Charlotte Ward and her daughter Rosalind. As I read on the blurb on the back of the book about Charlotte, a renowned actress, but failure as a mother, or was she?
I found Charlotte as a very caring woman, she seemed to be there for others whom were less fortunate, or to help them onto the right path, but some of her life decisions were pretty bad. For one thing she really had bad choices of men, including the current husband, who now was accusing her of outrageous sins. Now the time of this story is the 1880’s in England, and woman are really second-class citizens, without many rights.
Rosalind is an accomplished teacher, and does come to her mother’s aid even though she has many issues with her, and I could really understand where she was coming from. She takes her mother to a quaint coastal town, which made me want to live there. So many hurtful things to get revealed, and we can understand what the causes of some of the problems were.
Of course life cannot be all sunshine and roses, and our ladies have a few trials and are taken by people who mean harm, and are out for their own gain. I recommend this book, what a great summer read, and you won’t want to put it down!
I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Jun 20, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764217933, Paperback)

Much-Loved Lawana Blackwell Delivers Another Charming Victorian-Era Tale

In difficult circumstances, Charlotte Ward, once a famed stage actress, tries to restart her career--only to experience disaster. Against her better judgment, her estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village.

Charlotte is grateful to get to know Rosalind after years apart. As one who has regrets about her own romantic past, it's a joy for Charlotte to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching--and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could be more complicated than romance?

Together, mother and daughter discover that healing is best accomplished when they focus less on themselves and more on the needs of others.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Jan 2016 13:54:38 -0500)

Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. When she attempt to restart her career she suffers a collapse. Her estranged daughter, Rosalind, moves with her to a quiet English coastal village. Charlotte hopes to establish a relationship with her daughter, but Rosalind has no interest in her mother-- or in a blossoming romance. When their privacy is threatened, both women must make some difficult decisions.… (more)

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